Treatment of Lexical Deficits in Young Children with SLI

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The primary goals of the parent grant, Treatment of Lexical Deficits in Young Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI), are to develop methods for identifying the individual word-learning deficits of young children with SLI and to evaluate prescriptive treatments targeting those deficits. Vocabulary deficits are particularly devastating in young children because lexical acquisition is strongly associated with later language and literacy development. The research plan for this supplement is in response to results from an experiment in the parent grant demonstrating that, unlike their age- or vocabulary-matched peers, preschoolers with SLI showed no phonological or semantic priming effects. The proposed experiments will test the hypotheses that the lack of priming was due to weak semantic representations, weak phonological representations, weak links between them, reduced lexical processing despite sufficient phonological and semantic representations, or a rapid decay of the prime in short-term phonological memory. Specific Aims: (1) Document and compare children's existing semantic associations; (2) document the distinctiveness of children's phonological representations of semantically-associated words; (3) determine whether children with SLI demonstrate phonological and semantic priming effects for three different interstimulus interval conditions for words shown to be semantically associated within their lexicon and sufficiently differentiated phonologically to permit segmental processing. Significance: Results will help identify the lexical deficits of children with SLI that contributed to null priming effects. This will inform the treatment protocols being conducted in the parent grant and will increase our theoretical understanding of the underlying deficits of SLI. Effective word learning treatments can help children reach their full potential by improving language and literacy growth, positively impacting their quality of life and significantly increasing their likelihood of school success.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/9/0612/31/11

Funding

  • HHS: National Institutes of Health (NIH): $1,549,514.00

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